Most companies looking to create and launch their digital presence use their company’s name as their domain name.
Although I know there are nearly 350 million domain names currently registered and counting,
I wish I had specific numbers on how many businesses currently operate a domain name that matches their business name.
I see a variety of partial matches, exact matches, and brandable domains on a daily commute between work and home.
For instance, I encountered a company, Business Communication Solutions, using the shortened domain bcs-ip.com, yet they don’t own BusinessCommunicationSolutions.com or bcsip.com.
But this question of how long is too long for a domain name really hit home this week as I was on my way home from DevOpsDaysAustin.com.
As I was waiting at a light, a vehicle caught my eye. The coupe was wrapped with advertising for an Austin-based cleaning company.
As I approached the vehicle, I noticed the domain. It was AustinCleaningContractors.com.
I wasn’t sure what type of cleaning services are offered, but my guess is that it’s commercial cleaning based on the use of the word “contractors” in the domain.
Visiting the website is no help as it looks like a GoDaddy Website Builder splash page.
Nevertheless, I didn’t think anything of it until my domain character length criterion of 20 characters was violated, realizing the domain was 25 characters long.
It’s not a law or penalty that a domain should be less than or equal to 20 characters. I believe domains with 3 or 4 words and more than 20 characters better be memorable and off-the-charts popular.
As I continued my drive home, I debated whether AustinCleaningContractors.com was a good domain.
After all, it’s a 3-word exact match domain. Yes, it communicates what the company does and what market the company services.
But I kept asking myself how many characters are too many for a domain name, and could this company not have found a shorter and more memorable domain for their brand?
As usual, I mentally made a list of domains to check their availability (see below):
Notice how I shortened the name city name by abbreviating it, transforming it from an exact match domain to a partial match domain.
My advice for using abbreviated domains is that you want to own the full domain name extension in addition to the abbreviated or shortened version of the domain.
I recommend owning as many variations as your company can possibly own, having each domain redirected to your primary web presence.
I encourage you to use a short and memorable domain and redirect the longer secondary domains to the shorter domain. Don’t forget to track the domain redirect.
Again, using 3+ words or longer character domains is not a penalty.
However, I believe you desire a domain that can be easily typed, is memorable, and looks good when advertised.